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Proving Atheists have faith
Patriot Politics ^ | July 28, 2013 | Patriot Politics

Posted on 07/28/2013 8:22:20 PM PDT by Patriot Politics

A Question for Atheists: The Book of God's Existence Atheists maintain that rejection of faith is superior to practicing faith. However, despite this commonly held view, one may at least force an atheist to admit he/she is capable of practicing faith. Simply ask this question:

Suppose there exists a book simply titled "The Book of God's Existence" which, using formal logic and reasoning, proves the existence of God. However, if one who does not already believe in God reads this book that person is doomed to eternal damnation. Many prominent and vocal atheists have read the book intending to prove it wrong, but in each case they immediately become depressed believing their fate in Hell is assured.

You, as an atheist, are not convinced that the book is correct. In fact, you're almost certain that it can be proven wrong since you discover it is simply a modified ontological argument and have successfully found logical fallacies in numerous other similar arguments. What do you do?

There are only 3 valid actions that an atheist may take:

Refuse to read the book, but continue to deny God's existence. Refuse to read the book, but accept God's existence. Read the book. Each action requires a display of faith, either in God or one's self. Here's why:

1. If they respond with "I wouldn't read the book, but I wouldn't believe in God either" they express a blind faith that the book is fallacious without examination of its contents and in direct conflict with the evidence that every atheist who has read the book believes in God--even those who were most vocal about their non belief.

2.If they respond with "I wouldn't read the book, but I would believe in God's existence" they express a blind faith that the book is correct without examination of its contents and accept the testimony of those who have read it as correct without any real proof to validate their claims. Most importantly, however, they also express a faith in God.

3. Unfortunately, this is the choice most atheists would make. If they respond to the question with "I would just read the book" they express a blind faith that their intuition of the book's fallibility is correct without any evidence. Further, they show a faith that the testimony of all the atheists who read the book is misguided despite the fact that each person who read the book was a strong atheist before, most likely including others that had also successfully refuted other ontological arguments. However, the greatest faith they place is in their belief that they will not be damned to Hell for reading the book without assurance.

Final Thoughts

In the end, each person is "granted a measure of faith" (Romans 12:3) by God, and an atheist is no different. Despite the claims that they will not express any faith, they are quite capable of doing so in many different situations. This question is simply a thought experiment to point out that they are indeed capable of faith.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Ministry/Outreach; Skeptics/Seekers; Theology
KEYWORDS: atheism; faith
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What do you think? Does this argument prove even atheists have faith?
1 posted on 07/28/2013 8:22:20 PM PDT by Patriot Politics
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To: Patriot Politics

Arguing with an atheist is like wrestling the mud with a pig...after awhile you realize the pig enjoys it.


2 posted on 07/28/2013 8:25:33 PM PDT by Red Dog #1
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To: Red Dog #1

It really is, but just imagine if you could prove that even logic loving atheists must have faith. They may not lose the wrestling match, but it would at least pin one arm down!


3 posted on 07/28/2013 8:30:03 PM PDT by Patriot Politics
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To: Patriot Politics

Your question relies on multiple interpretations of the word “faith.” For example, in the first instance, it’s faith that the book is wrong; in the second, that the book is correct. Normally, “faith” means belief in the existence of God, or, more generally, belief in a proposition that is supported by neither direct evidence nor logical reasoning. Nearly everyone, including atheists, believe that *something* is true, or false, without having direct evidence or a sound logical reason to believe it, irrespective of their belief in God. Trying to show that *even atheists* have faith, when the faith is that the book might be wrong or right, is not to say that, therefore, they have faith *in God.*


4 posted on 07/28/2013 8:33:39 PM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: Patriot Politics
I've always thought it was simpler than this.

An agnostic says, "I'm not at all sure about the God thing." -- I can understand that position.

An atheist says, "No way, no how. I am 100% certain that there is no God. It's true that I cannot prove a negative, and I have no real evidence of any kind -- but I know for a fact that God is a complete myth."

That's an expression of faith. It's pure emotion and nothing else. Every real atheist says that, and they all sound stupid when they say it.

5 posted on 07/28/2013 8:35:23 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (21st century. I'm not a fan.)
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To: Patriot Politics

I don’t have enough faitth to be an atheist.

Pray for America to Wake up


6 posted on 07/28/2013 8:44:44 PM PDT by bray (Coming soon: The Republic of Texas 2022)
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To: Patriot Politics
What do you think? Does this argument prove even atheists have faith?

In a word...no. Let's look at it:

Suppose there exists a book simply titled "The Book of God's Existence" which, using formal logic and reasoning, proves the existence of God. However, if one who does not already believe in God reads this book that person is doomed to eternal damnation.

That's one heck of an assumption to start out with.

Many prominent and vocal atheists have read the book intending to prove it wrong, but in each case they immediately become depressed believing their fate in Hell is assured.

Why are they damned, since they now presumably believe in God?

You, as an atheist, are not convinced that the book is correct. In fact, you're almost certain that it can be proven wrong since you discover it is simply a modified ontological argument and have successfully found logical fallacies in numerous other similar arguments. What do you do?

Since I have discovered this, I must have already read the book, yes? How else would I know?

There are only 3 valid actions that an atheist may take:

Refuse to read the book, but continue to deny God's existence. Refuse to read the book, but accept God's existence. Read the book. Each action requires a display of faith, either in God or one's self. Here's why:

Since I already know that the book consists of a modified ontological argument, I must have already read the book.

If they respond to the question with "I would just read the book" they express a blind faith that their intuition of the book's fallibility is correct without any evidence.

In this instance, the atheist has simply expressed his willingness to examine the evidence, and has not necessarily made a judgement as to the the book's fallibility in advance.

Further, they show a faith that the testimony of all the atheists who read the book is misguided despite the fact that each person who read the book was a strong atheist before, most likely including others that had also successfully refuted other ontological arguments.

You never said how many atheists have already read the book. 10? 100? 2? In any case, the fact that many other people have drawn a conclusion about it doesn't make of necessity mean they're correct (or incorrect, for that matter).

However, the greatest faith they place is in their belief that they will not be damned to Hell for reading the book without assurance.

Why would someone base their actions upon the threat of something they don't believe exists (their soul) ending up someplace they don't believe exists (Hell)?

This thought experiment is, I'm afraid, fatally flawed.

7 posted on 07/28/2013 8:46:17 PM PDT by Kip Russell (Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ---Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Patriot Politics

An insomniac agnostic dyslexic stays up all night wondering if there is a dog.


8 posted on 07/28/2013 8:46:18 PM PDT by Cold Heart
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To: Patriot Politics

Of course they have faith. They have faith that what they see and touch and the here and now are real and both are all that exists. That their consciousness, what we call “soul”, is nothing more than the result of electrochemical processes in a human brain. They can believe whatever they like. Most people on earth a thousand years ago probably believed the earth was flat and and the stars were pin holes in some black firmament. It did not make it so. I believe when the water tight bag of meat, bone, organs, and feces their consciousness peers into this world through gives out they will be in for a major surprise.


9 posted on 07/28/2013 8:49:20 PM PDT by katana (Just my opinions)
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To: Patriot Politics

But, of course atheists express a simplistic religion-like faith that cannot be proven by facts. Just ask them about global warming.


10 posted on 07/28/2013 8:50:54 PM PDT by OrangeHoof (Howdy to all you government agents spying on me.)
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To: Patriot Politics

It proves that some people are sophists. The argument presented here is utterly bogus and absurd.

If presented with this phony choice, I would take a fourth course of non-action; I would give the proposition the robust horselaugh it deserves, proving that I have faith in humor.


11 posted on 07/28/2013 9:01:22 PM PDT by John Valentine (Deep in the Heart of Texas)
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To: ClearCase_guy
Every real atheist says that, and they all sound stupid when they say it.

No, they don't. The atheist position is the one you describe as "agnostic". Talk to some real atheists, why don't you.

12 posted on 07/28/2013 9:03:24 PM PDT by John Valentine (Deep in the Heart of Texas)
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To: OrangeHoof

Why don’t you just ask me about “globull warming”?

I’ll give the question the robust horselaugh it deserves, proving that I have faith in humor, once again.


13 posted on 07/28/2013 9:04:57 PM PDT by John Valentine (Deep in the Heart of Texas)
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To: Patriot Politics

Of the few Atheists I know, they are mostly arrogant and self-centered.

If you’re an Atheist reading this, think about it. You believe there is nothing after this life and no God, naturally you’re going to center your life around yourself as you are the only thing you’ve got, and your days are numbered. Naturally you’re self-centered. Maybe family centered.

Faith is a foreign concept.

I think the arrogant part comes in as a defense mechanism. All those Christians/Jews, I know better! But I’ve always thought behind every arrogant Atheist there is a person masking a pain/emptiness that God
could take away. Of course they couldn’t or wouldn’t ever admit to such a thing.

Probably not every Atheist is like this, but those I’ve encountered are.


14 posted on 07/28/2013 9:11:53 PM PDT by MacMattico
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To: Patriot Politics

A hypocrite is a man who writes a book extolling atheism and then prays that it sells well.

(old joke that Woody Allen wrote when 16)


15 posted on 07/28/2013 9:23:07 PM PDT by Bobalu (It is not obama we are fighting, it is the media.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
An atheist says, "No way, no how. I am 100% certain that there is no God. It's true that I cannot prove a negative, and I have no real evidence of any kind -- but I know for a fact that God is a complete myth."

That's an expression of faith. It's pure emotion and nothing else. Every real atheist says that, and they all sound stupid when they say it.

Some atheists say that, that's true...but there are also atheists who say, "I have no belief in the existence of any deities, but I do not explicitly assert that they do not exist." That is not an expression of faith, but rather an expression of a lack of it.

16 posted on 07/28/2013 9:31:56 PM PDT by Kip Russell (Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ---Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: MacMattico

I say that you’re right. God is. The most powerful words that He ever uttered were to Moses who asked what Name he should convey to the Hebrews as to Who their Deliverer was.

“I AM WHO AM.”

The Lord then said to Moses, “Tell your people that He Who Is shall deliver them out of the land of Egypt.”


17 posted on 07/28/2013 9:41:05 PM PDT by elcid1970 ("The Second Amendment is more important than Islam.")
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To: Patriot Politics

I don’t think atheists believe they have NO faith in ANYTHING. Faith is a belief in something they haven’t totally proven. For example they believe in cold fusion or warp speed space travel, even though they aren’t totally proven or understood.

This is a nice try but atheists are masters at rationalization. Rationalization is the second greatest human drive. If they don’t attack your argument, they attack how you’ve said it, or they attack you personally, or they attack the way you are spreading your argument, or there’s always something to object to.


18 posted on 07/28/2013 9:52:42 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: Kip Russell

They still have to explain what their factual basis is for their beliefs though. Lack of evidence doesn’t mean non-existence. What if God wants people to believe in Him without having to see Him personally?

How do they explain the atheists who have never set foot in churches, never had any Christian upbringing, that have had been clinically dead, and are revived after brain death, and recount being in the most awful place they’ve ever been, with fire and heat and pain and seeing others there in pain and torment? And that talking with others realize that the place they actually went to, was Hell?


19 posted on 07/28/2013 9:56:48 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: Patriot Politics

Atheism is a faith itself because one has to have faith in order to believe in nothing.


20 posted on 07/28/2013 10:11:51 PM PDT by Republican1795.
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To: Patriot Politics

I only have faith in what I can see hear smell taste and touch. Everything else is Voodoo.


21 posted on 07/28/2013 10:19:41 PM PDT by BigCinBigD (...Was that okay?)
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To: MacMattico
“You believe there is nothing after this life”

AS an atheist I beg to differ. You see a link between religion and an after life. I see no logical reason for such an assumption. I believe the conciseness exists after physical death.

But I believe it's a natural phenomenon not a spiritual one.

22 posted on 07/28/2013 10:29:41 PM PDT by BigCinBigD (...Was that okay?)
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To: Red Dog #1

Philosophy 101 is the existence of God argument.

Atheist: Prove to me that God exists, because I “do not” believe God exists

Deist: Prove to me God does not exist, because I “do” believe God exists

Now the deist has an easier job than the atheist because he is proving a positive to the atheist, while the atheist has to prove a negative to the deist. That is a topic in itself but just let it be known that math majors do everything in their power to avoid doing a mathematical proof by proving a negative for a reason.

Nevertheless, both sides essentially need to shove this “God” or “lack of God” in a bottle so they can prove 100% that they were right in their assertion. Without 100% evidence that the assertion is right, there is room for doubt, and therefore the assertion is an article of faith to the the individual making the assertion.

Modern atheist are so busy patting themselves on the back that they are scientifically and intellectually superior to all other thinkers, that they never question that this argument has been going on since the beginning of civilization for a reason. The deist are more accepting of divergent opinions since they don’t have any problem with a belief being an article of faith.


23 posted on 07/28/2013 11:37:31 PM PDT by Gen-X-Dad
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To: Cold Heart; Salamander

An insomniac agnostic dyslexic salamander stays up all night wondering if there is a dog and named it Halla...


24 posted on 07/29/2013 12:21:41 AM PDT by null and void (You don't know what "cutting edge" means till you insult Mohammed.)
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To: null and void

</inside joke>


25 posted on 07/29/2013 12:22:07 AM PDT by null and void (You don't know what "cutting edge" means till you insult Mohammed.)
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To: John Valentine

Huh? I don’t think that word means what you think it means...


26 posted on 07/29/2013 12:24:37 AM PDT by null and void (You don't know what "cutting edge" means till you insult Mohammed.)
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To: null and void

*ouch*

The new one’s named Seven.

Work with that.

:^P


27 posted on 07/29/2013 12:40:11 AM PDT by Salamander (.......Uber Alice!.......)
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To: Salamander

Of Nine?


28 posted on 07/29/2013 12:41:25 AM PDT by null and void (You don't know what "cutting edge" means till you insult Mohammed.)
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To: null and void

NO!

LOL

It’s a Blue Oyster Cult reference from the song “Le Invisibles” on the Imaginos album.

Her registered name is Desdinova’s Magna Of Illusion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53HZ7LoqhSQ

[listen for the “Seven, seven” refrain]


29 posted on 07/29/2013 12:47:16 AM PDT by Salamander (.......Uber Alice!.......)
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To: Salamander
A dog lover and a BOC fan! No wonder I like you 8-)

Next you'll tell me you're a Hawkwind fan.

Hope you're doing ok Sal.

30 posted on 07/29/2013 2:20:13 AM PDT by mitch5501 ("make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall")
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To: ClearCase_guy

That’s interesting...perhaps this argument is not for atheists but instead agnostics? Because after all, they are the ones that try to refrain from any strong opinion one way or the other (as does weak atheism)

I suppose the motivation for such foolishness in usually otherwise sane people is to avoid accountability and engage in a sort of operational nihilism-hedonism where only one’s base urges and desires are met.

Thank you for the feedback!


31 posted on 07/29/2013 3:46:03 AM PDT by Patriot Politics
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To: Kip Russell

Thank you very much for this thorough criticism!

But perhaps I should have went into more detail about what I meant in the article...I intended the reason for damnation after reading the book to be something along the lines of “blasphemy against the Holy Ghost” since this is the only “unforgivable sin” Jesus speaks of. The book would show (in addition to God’s existence) that since they distrusted the conviction of the Holy Ghost and instead had to resort to absolute evidence that God exists, then they must display no faith since its pretty clear (eg. If God revealed himself with 100% certainty, then it takes no faith to believe in God)

As for the mechanics of knowing the argument without reading the book...you could assume that someone who read the book previously told you the form of the argument. However, since a standard ontological argument can be refuted it doesn’t reveal God’s existence alone.

As for the proving of faith:

If they read the book, then they must be reasonably sure that there is no threat of Hell. After all, if there is the slightest chance that they could be eternally tortured then the risks are too great and the person either 1. incredibly stupid for continuing anyways given the gravity of the consequences or 2. convinced that the work is incorrect despite evidence to the contrary.

As for the number of atheists that read the work, suppose that enough atheists have read it to cover every school of atheistic, agnostic and ignostic thought and were all familiar with every refutation to all arguments for the existence of God.

May I ask if you have any suggestions for rectifying these mistakes?


32 posted on 07/29/2013 3:46:03 AM PDT by Patriot Politics
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To: MacMattico

Personally I think atheism is much more like an operational nihilistic hedonism in which the person is centered on the self: self gratification (if not openly, then under the guise of enlightenment) with only the submission to societal morals, ethics and standards without any supernatural consequences.

Essentially, I think atheists act as if there is no greater purpose of life and all is ultimately meaningless (nihilism) while feeding ones hungers and urges (basic desires as well as the desire to have peace of mind, intellectual superiority, etc.

It is for this reason (basking in perceived intellectual ‘freedom’ and superiority) that I think many atheists are so vehemently opposed to the idea of God.

Of course, this is simply a conjecture.


33 posted on 07/29/2013 3:46:03 AM PDT by Patriot Politics
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To: Kip Russell

Those who posit that there absolutely isn’t a God is an example of a strong atheist.

What you described could either be a weak atheist (one who asserts that there probably isn’t a God, but isn’t sure) an agnostic (one who asserts that there is no way to know for sure weather or not God exists) or an ignostic (one who asserts that the question of weather God exists is meaningless because a consistent definition of what God is cannot be known)


34 posted on 07/29/2013 3:46:03 AM PDT by Patriot Politics
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To: Secret Agent Man

Although God’s motives for what He does and His ultimate plan are far beyond our comprehension (eg explaining the nuances of nuclear fusion to an ant)I suspect the reason God does not reveal Himself with 100% certainty is because faith in Christ is necessary for salvation and blatant facts take no faith to believe. That’s basically the premise behind the “read the book and you’re damned” theme.

Perhaps God sees fit to reveal small portions of the greater plan to specific people (such as revealing Hell to an atheist and then reviving them) in order to aid people’s struggling faith? Whatever reason it is, I’m sure it’s much more complex and intricate than one could possibly understand.


35 posted on 07/29/2013 3:46:04 AM PDT by Patriot Politics
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To: BigCinBigD
That's why this article was written--to show you that isn't necessarily the case. You even admit yourself you have faith (albeit, subtly.)

Everything else is Voodoo.

This implies that things which can not be directly or indirectly observed must not exist. This is despite the fact that there are many things which can never be observed by any human in any way, yet are most definitely true. For example, the paradox of other minds posits that it is impossible to be certain that other people are truly sentient and not simply complex robots that react appropriately (or for that matter, any other solipsism.) It is very much impossible to observe other minds, the passage of time, the existence of knowledge, or many other philosophic paradoxes including reality itself.

In the end, whether you believe you live in the Matrix, or that other people exist and reality is true, you exhibit some form of faith in unobservable phenomenon. For this reason, I would urge you to be a bit more open minded and critical instead of categorizing everything into a false dichotomy of either "observable" or "Voodoo."
36 posted on 07/29/2013 3:46:04 AM PDT by Patriot Politics
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To: BigCinBigD

Your belief that consciousness is not predicated on biologic life (although a common assertion between these two arguments) is a fallacy within the naturalist world view. If the universe is the only existence there is (ie. no supernatural interference within the world) and consciousness is simply a byproduct of various chemical reactions within the brain (medically verified) then it would logically follow that a person’s consciousness would cease to exist once brain metabolism has halted in a naturalistic universe.

In essence, a continuation of consciousness after death in a naturalistic universe must be impossible.


37 posted on 07/29/2013 3:46:04 AM PDT by Patriot Politics
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To: coloradan

Thank you for your point. I used the word faith to mean any belief held without proof or evidence of its truthfulness. Although it’s never directly related to a faith in God, the main purpose of the piece was to stop hard nosed atheists that pride themselves of “only believing what there is evidence for.” Perhaps this could be used to reason with agnostics as well? If you have any ideas how the argument or explanation could be reworked to be better at accomplishing the task of showing how all display faith to some degree I would greatly appreciate it!


38 posted on 07/29/2013 3:46:13 AM PDT by Patriot Politics
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To: John Valentine

I’m afraid your fourth choice of non action is the same as either the first choice: not reading the book with continuing non belief in God. You would have essentially convinced yourself that the work is bogus and erroneous despite its apparent conversion of many people to a theistic world view. Would you not even read the work? If only to prove it wrong?


39 posted on 07/29/2013 3:46:13 AM PDT by Patriot Politics
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To: Patriot Politics
“Your belief that consciousness is not predicated on biologic life”

No that's my point. It is predicated on biological life. Not any religion. The brain works using bioeletrical energy. Synapse firing and so forth. The question is to be what happens to that energy when the solid brain stops functioning.

If you call that energy a soul or a ghost depends on faith so to speak.

40 posted on 07/29/2013 4:19:26 AM PDT by BigCinBigD (...Was that okay?)
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To: Patriot Politics

Of course atheists have faith. Just suggest that they either decline to celebrate Thanksgiving or rebrand it as “Plumb Dumb Lucky Day” to fit their belief in random, disconnected events. I did this in a blog a few years ago. The atheists were outraged because they were “thankful” for all sorts of things. But when asked where they directed their “thanks”, they became unglued. Atheists need the argument because they are the insecure side. They know they are wrong, but can’t admit it.


41 posted on 07/29/2013 4:46:33 AM PDT by Repulican Donkey
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To: Patriot Politics

We humans are on solid ground talking about faith but getting into the “damnation” thing is folly because it attempts to limit God. In the past six months two of my former colleagues died - true story. One was an avowed atheist; the other an overt church going born again Christian. In practice their lives were identical. They were both teachers; both kind and gentle; both reached out to students; rescued animals; visited people in the hospital; gave their time and money to strangers who needed help. The notion that one is in heaven and the other in hell is absurd!


42 posted on 07/29/2013 4:56:22 AM PDT by Repulican Donkey
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To: Secret Agent Man
They still have to explain what their factual basis is for their beliefs though. Lack of evidence doesn’t mean non-existence. What if God wants people to believe in Him without having to see Him personally?

What if God punishes faith, and only rewards skepticism? We can play "what if" all day...

How do they explain the atheists who have never set foot in churches, never had any Christian upbringing, that have had been clinically dead, and are revived after brain death, and recount being in the most awful place they’ve ever been, with fire and heat and pain and seeing others there in pain and torment? And that talking with others realize that the place they actually went to, was Hell?

They would explains it the following manner:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_augustine/HNDEs.html

43 posted on 07/29/2013 5:54:36 AM PDT by Kip Russell (Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ---Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Patriot Politics
Those who posit that there absolutely isn’t a God is an example of a strong atheist.

What you described could either be a weak atheist (one who asserts that there probably isn’t a God, but isn’t sure) an agnostic (one who asserts that there is no way to know for sure weather or not God exists) or an ignostic (one who asserts that the question of weather God exists is meaningless because a consistent definition of what God is cannot be known)

Almost exactly so, although I would quibble with your definition of weak atheism; weak atheism doesn't necessarily assign a probability to the existence of God, but rather expresses that given the lack of evidence for such a being(s), there's no reason to assume its (or their) existence.

And the more I read of ignosticism, the more I lean towards it....

44 posted on 07/29/2013 6:04:46 AM PDT by Kip Russell (Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ---Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Patriot Politics
May I ask if you have any suggestions for rectifying these mistakes?

A detailed reply will have to wait until tonight...work beckons.

45 posted on 07/29/2013 6:06:17 AM PDT by Kip Russell (Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ---Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Repulican Donkey
Of course atheists have faith. Just suggest that they either decline to celebrate Thanksgiving or rebrand it as “Plumb Dumb Lucky Day” to fit their belief in random, disconnected events. I did this in a blog a few years ago. The atheists were outraged because they were “thankful” for all sorts of things. But when asked where they directed their “thanks”, they became unglued. Atheists need the argument because they are the insecure side. They know they are wrong, but can’t admit it.

Speaking as an atheist, while I do "celebrate" Thanksgiving with my family, I don't actually give thanks to anyone, other than those who provide the meal (usually my sister and brother-in-law, these days).

46 posted on 07/29/2013 6:11:06 AM PDT by Kip Russell (Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ---Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Patriot Politics

In that case you might think about how rational belief and faith differ. The atheist in your post might have a rational belief that the book is wrong, because all the other proofs of the existence of God were refutable by him, and why should this one be any different? On the other hand, he might have a rational belief that the book is correct, because no previous atheist has ever been able to refute it, and why should he himself be any different? These beliefs are rational, at least in part, because they are supported by past history, but lack direct evidence to his own case because until he reads it, he doesn’t know what it actually says. (So, from a logical standpoint, they have almost zero weight.)

Incidentally, if I were an atheist, I wouldn’t read it. Because if I did, according to the premise, I would be damned as of that moment. But if I didn’t read it, there could still be some chance that God would reach out to me and establish His existence to me prior to my death, therefore enabling me to be saved at some future date. But, that’s because I’m not that cocky. A much more cocky atheist might read it in the expectation that he could go down in history as being the first person ever to refute it, all the ones before being beneath him. (These possibilities are from game theory: what is the payoff matrix for read it/don’t read it vs. the book is right/the book is wrong?)


47 posted on 07/29/2013 6:32:00 AM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: Patriot Politics

Pascal’s Wager is an argument in apologetic philosophy which was devised by the seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician, and physicist, Blaise Pascal. It posits that humans all bet with their lives either that God exists or does not exist. Given the possibility that God actually does exist and assuming the infinite gain or loss associated with belief in God or with unbelief, a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.).[1]

Pascal formulated the wager within a Christian framework. The wager was set out in section 233 of Pascal’s posthumously published Pensées. Pensées, meaning thoughts, was the name given to the collection of unpublished notes which, after Pascal’s death, were assembled to form an incomplete treatise on Christian apologetics.

Historically, Pascal’s Wager was groundbreaking because it charted new territory in probability theory, marked the first formal use of decision theory, and anticipated future philosophies such as existentialism, pragmatism, and voluntarism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager


48 posted on 07/29/2013 7:01:41 AM PDT by batmast (God Bless...)
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To: Patriot Politics

For me, its easier to convince them they’re agnostic, like everybody else.

It’s one thing to say you aren’t sure. It’s another to say there is no God.

Most of the time, I say, “So, prove God doesn’t exist. I’d like my Sunday morning’s back.”

They inevitably say, “You can’t prove a negative.”

To which I say, “I can prove you aren’t dead, so let’s dispense with that and let’s see your evidence that the Earth and everything in it could have come about as a great cosmic accident. Proceed.”


49 posted on 07/29/2013 7:09:31 AM PDT by RinaseaofDs
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To: Patriot Politics

btttt


50 posted on 07/29/2013 7:11:05 AM PDT by Texas Songwriter
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